As I haven’t done any speed work since before St. George Marathon, I was not expecting to get a Personal Record. My only goal was to run very hard. We runners know that running hard doesn’t necessarily translate in PRs as there are conditions that we sometimes can’t control. I knew that no matter the time I would be happy as that’s what I wanted for the day, just running hard.
I went and set the pace (whichever it was – no pace monitor anymore) on this flat and fast
course. I was surprised after passing every mile marker that I was having very consistent splits (I lap my watch after every mile just to know my splits after the fact). When I was at mile 4 I knew I was within the PR spectrum, so I didn’t let that go. Close to the finish line I saw the tall and lean figure of my adorable son and that made me finish with a superb sprint. My time was 47:50, 33 seconds faster than my current 48:23 PR. Splits: 1- 7:42 / 2- 7:46 / 3- 7:48 / 4- 7:39 / 5- 7:41 / 6- 7:45 / 6.2 - 7:15
Extremely pleased and wanting to puke, my son held me tight; we hung around a bit, and waited for the results. I got 3rd place. My son teasingly and smiling said: Mom, you didn’t win. I smiled back. He knew I was very happy. The organizers, per my request, gave me the 3rd place white ribbon before the awards ceremony because I needed to leave. Son and I went to have cake and coffee to celebrate daughter’s birthday, she being 4,000 miles away.
A couple of days later I found out that I was now in 2nd place in the official results. I don’t know the reasons, but a week later I got in the mail my 2nd place red ribbon.
The first place was won by Danuta Lacka whom I’ve never heard from before. She ran in an astonishing time of 44:24 putting her in the Washington State Top Five 10K runners for 2012 in our division, only behind our Olympian Regina Joyce. Wanting to know more about her I checked Athlinks, the largest running database in the US, and found out that she has never run a race. I even looked up only by first name, Danuta, thinking that she could have changed her name, and nope: There was nobody with that name and that age range that has run a race in the US. Christmas Rush Race Director started to investigate and after few days he notified me that this female runner signed up for the 10k but ran the 5k. Results were adjusted and I officially won the division. They sent me the 1st place plaque.
Honest to God I was not interested in being recognized as first place or getting the plaque for this race, but erroneous results would have me removed from the final 2012 Top 5 10K runners in Washington State in my division, so there are some things you just can't let go!